For some reason, the road has been very unkind to the Indiana Pacers this season. Seven of their eight losses have come on the road and the Phoenix Suns became the latest opponent to take down the league’s best team.
Both teams got off to a hot start, very similar to the how the Golden State Warriors‘ game started on Monday. Except this time it was the Pacers who cooled off, and no matter what kind of run they made, the Suns always had an answer and won 124-100.
The Suns were so hot at shooting, you would have thought they had made their rims bigger. As a team, they shot 54.2 percent and 68.8 percent from three-point range. They scored 62 points in each half, which was the most the Pacers have given up all season in a half and the 124 total points were the most any team has scored against Indiana.
Former Pacer Gerald Green led the way for Phoenix with 23 points, six rebounds and two assists. Green went 3-of-5 from downtown and looked unstoppable. The other former Pacer on the Suns (from last season) is Miles Plumlee, who had himself a nice game as well. Plumlee scored 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
The rest of the Suns’ starting lineup was also in double figures – Goran Dragic with 20, P.J. Tucker with 13, and Channing Frye with 10. Markieff Morris came off the bench and added 20 points as well.
Overall, it was just a terrible game for the Pacers. They shot 50.7 percent, which is fantastic, but only 33.3 percent from three-point. Also dooming for the Pacers were 20 turnovers that turned into 27 Suns points.
Paul George led the way, like normal, with 26 points and seven rebounds. George Hill kept pace with Dragic by scoring 16, and David West finished with 13 despite missing time in the first half due to his wrist injury. The other two starters, Roy Hibbert and Lance Stephenson, were non-factors in the game, each scoring six points and combining for nine rebounds.
It was a tough loss for fans to watch, and one that proved that the Pacers were still mortal, at least on the road. Not being as dominant on the road as they are at home could prove costly in the playoffs, which is why finishing with the league’s best record is even more important for Indiana. But if they can’t figure out their road woes, they may not finish on top.